Luke 2:1-7 (CEV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books.2 These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed.4 So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.
5 Mary was engaged to Joseph and travelled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, 6 and while they were there, 7 she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Imagine having to make that kind of journey whilst very pregnant. It must have been exhausting. I once moved house when 38 weeks pregnant and that was no fun. On a very human level, I feel for Mary.
Nazareth to Bethlehem is 163km or 101miles. According to the directions, that’s a 34 hour walk – if you’re not pregnant! They weren’t able to jump in their car. There must have been worries about whether Mary would go into labour en-route. It wasn’t a journey they chose to make, a last minute holiday before the baby arrived, or even a decision to go and have the baby amongst their relatives. This was forced on them by bureaucracy.
But, somehow, or Gods-how it all came together. Jesus was born in the right place at the right time, among the right people.
sometimes you call us
and lead us,
to set out on a journey with you.
We do not always understand it,
sometimes it is very frightening,
we cannot always see
where you are leading us,
but you take us faithfully.
And as we journey with you,
new possibilities are born,
your life comes to new places
and we are changed.
Be born in me today
as I journey with you
Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent. Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page